Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

What Happened to Your Integrity?

March 1, 2005

What Happened to Your Integrity?

I finally found a drummer to play with. After three-plus years of looking for a drummer who was willing to play post-hardcore, I found him- or at least I thought I did. We were jamming for the first time a week ago, doing a cover of No Trivia by From Autumn to Ashes, and I added screaming vocals. At this point our drummer stopped playing and said, “We really shouldn’t scream. I don’t think we will be as popular if we scream.”

This set me off. He had claimed that he wanted to play, and that playing was all he cared about, yet he was complaining that we wouldn’t be able to be popular if we included screaming in our songs. I think this mentality is the reason good bands are becoming scarcer. This thought process is ruining bands that have the potential of bringing new, great cards to the table with innovative music styles.

Bands, even the “underground” and “indie” bands, are buying into the thought process that there is a mold that you can’t stray too far from. These cookie cutter “indie” bands are the same ones who claim to be branching out. Honestly, I think that musicians have become so intensely focused on money and making that hit record that they have forgotten their number one priority: to make music that they want to make. So many times I read interviews and see a band member say “Well, I would really like to play *insert genre here* but it’s just not feasible at the moment.” Granted, sometimes this means he couldn’t find other people to play that genre with them. But more often it means that they didn’t feel they could have success in that genre- not because of talent but because of popularity of the genre. I just want to hear a band play the music they love, not the music that they think other people love. Now I may be in the minority on this one, but I just want to see a genuine band that loves their music.

This thought process is also stopping bands from experimenting in their genre. Bands are so worried about staying true to a single genre that they won’t go out on a limb and try new things. For example, think about this: I want to see a scream-core band like Alexisonfire try playing a ballad. Why not? I just want to see bands play with their sound and be willing to play what they like.

-Scott Landis (redbassist66@comcast.net)

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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